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Local school district wants teachers to carry weapons

Reported by: Wayne Hereford
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Updated: 1/23 10:29 am
FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WTVA)-- Members of the Mississippi House of Representatives introduced a bill that will allow school employees to carry a weapon with restrictions. 

It's a hot button issue right now across the country, and employees at Belgreen High School across the state line may soon be carry to carry guns next year.

"Well, actually it was passed in last year's legislative session," said Superintendent Gary Williams.

He says he tried to convice lawmakers to make Franklin County the only district in the state that allows teachers to carry guns. 

"We're a poor, rural system, and we can't afford to hire SROs [Student Resource Officers]. So, we were looking at ways to put safety in our schools at the lowest cost possible," Williams said.

Williams adds that the  district is weighing its options for training by considering the Protection Institue, National Rifle Association's School Choice Program, and local law enforcement.

Franklin County School officials say that they can avoid potential problems at the school by getting teachers certified to carry firearms.
The Mississippi Legislature is considering a similiar statute called House Bill 64.

It would authorize school superintendents to appoint employees to carry concealed weapons for security purposes, but they must have the proper licensing and training. 

If approved, the State Department of Public Safety would have a hand in the training process of school personnel.

It's a multi-page piece of legislation now making its way through the Mississippi House.

It's also a sobering reality, says Williams, of educating students in 2014 where attackers with weapons come to school.

"And, we hope it never happens here. But, it could happen at any minute. We need to be prepared for it," Williams concluded. 
We asked viewers to give their opinions about the proposed House Bill on Facebook.

"I think it's a great idea. I would feel a lot better knowing my daughter's teacher had another way of protecting her," said Jamie Lee.

"It needs to be thought out more," said Robert Fuller.

"It's a stupid idea. Just spend the money to hire full -time experienced security at all schools," said one viewer.

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